Thursday, 25 August 2016

My First day in Lech: Snow

As I got out of bed on the first morning and pulled back the curtains I was taken back by the most beautiful view from my balcony, even though it was freezing cold, I just opened the door and sat on the balcony for ten minutes to take it all in.
We had arranged to meet at 10 am. so that meant time for a lay in and a lovely warm soak in my deep filled bath before meeting the rest of the team for breakfast. By this point it was snowing very heavily but we were excited to get out into it and explore Lech. Our first activity of the day was to visit a local food market and we were going to walk there so I went straight back to the room to layer up. I put on as many layers as I could manage I finished up with a t-shirt, two jumpers and a coat as well as bed socks and a scarf and woolly hat - a girls gotta keep warm!
We grabbed an umbrella (the hotel supplies kne in each room) on our way out and made the 10-minute walk up the street to the market. It was all local produce from cheeses and cured meats to pine infused schnapps and little hand made trinkets. Next door was Stroltz which is known as Austria's Harrods so we popped in there as well. 
Behind the market was the entrance to the cable car and using our Lech cards, soon we were climbing up into the mountains in thick snow and the views going up were just incredible, just like something from a film, I've never seen that much snow before. Once we got to the top, we couldnt see anything, just white everywhere - we stopped for a hot chocolate and played around outside for a bit before we got back on, down to ground level.
You know me, always thinking about food and I was starting to get hungry. We walked back to the hotel, arriving just in time for the snow to stop. Typical. We had lunch in the hotel's restaurant and there was a whole host of traditional dishes flying around - some people tried the Austrian pancake soup, a meat broth with thin slices of pancake floating around in it. There was also a wiener schnitzel of course and a few plates of beef goulash which was very rich and hearty.
 It was still a little bit drizzly after lunch so whilst most of the team went for another little hike, Sonia and I decided to spend the afternoon in the spa. After an hour of chatting, lazing around the pool we got in for a little swim and then spent another hour just sitting in the jacuzzi before finishing off in the sauna. So lovely and relaxing, the perfect rainy day activity if you ask me.
By the time I got back to my room, the sun was finally shining. I thought my view was pretty in the snow but being able to see it clearly in the  sunshine was amazing! 

Somehow an hour later, it was time to eat again - the whole day just flew past. The Tourist Board had arranged for us to have dinner at Haus No. 8 which was the restaurant across the road (literally) from the hotel and also owned by Clements family. It was actually his grandparents home and the one his father grew up so it's pretty cool to go there with him as he pointed out photos of his grandmother, Filomena in the wall. We spent the evening indulging in some more very traditional Austrian food. 

Huge dishes of cheese dumplings (Kasnocken) and some kind of potato and black pudding mixture arrived at the table along with all sorts of salads. It all looked super heavy but it was surprisingly unstodgey, it was a really delicious meal actually and the restaurant was super cute.
Afterwards everyone crossed the road, back to the hotel and settled down with a glass of schnapps. 

Day one. Done.
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Monday, 22 August 2016

The Hotel Gotthard, Austria

The drive from Zurich Airport to the hotel on my recent press trip in Austria was pretty incredible. It started off as a normal car journey but soon we were traveling up a mountain. Snow in July was unexpected but to go into the tunnel just as it started and come out to a blanketed white landscape was pretty cool. I think it made the whole experience seem a lot more authentic, this Alpine landscape looks so beautiful topped with snow. The lighting was pretty terrible so here are a couple of photos I took when the sun came out!
As we arrived at the hotel we were greeted in reception by Nicole in traditional Austrian dress, with a lovely warm (literally) welcome and a glass of Prosecco. She runs the hotel here with her husband Clements, it's been in his family for four generations after his great-great grandmother opened it in 1932. You could tell that it was a family run place, they seemed to know each and every guest, stopping to ask about their day and just generally making everyone feel very welcome and very much at home. They've passed this lovely manner on to all of their staff - everyone was very friendly and said always stopped to say hi! 

We dropped off our cases and went straight down for dinner. One of those big sharing meals which was a lovely way to get to know everyone - and very delicious as well! We had a selection of hard mountain cheese, cured meats (the venison chorizo was something new), fish and some more prosecco.  Full of cheese and ham, we all went back to our rooms for a well needed sleep (and some wifi time)
As I woke up the next morning and drew back the curtains, I instantly fell in love with the view from my balcony. It looked over the mountains with a couple of cute alpine buildings and a (very loud) river running past - I hadn't even realised it was there, the triple glazing was very good!
and then the sun came out..

I've never been on that sort of holiday before so I wanted everything to be as authentic as possible and was very pleased that the room continued the alpine theme from outside. It had wooden paneling and was super cosy with fluffy white duvets and a couple of big armchairs to snuggle up in - these also brought a really lovely pop of colour into the room! I loved to wrap up in the hotel robe and sit in one of the chairs with the window open listening to the river whilst I waited for the bath to run. That's actually another thing to mention - the bathrooms were kept very clean throughout my stay and after a long day of exploring the mountains, my favourite thing to do was come back to the room and have a long hot bath in my very deep tub!
I was a little bit worried about being cold but was pleasantly surprised with how warm the hotel was at all times even if it was freezing outside; so taking advantage of that, I went down to breakfast in a crop top and tracksuit bottoms! The breakfast buffet was pretty impressive actually, the hotel has a huge bakery in its basement so apart from the usual spread, there was a huge selection of freshly baked Austrian bread. The tables were all well set and as soon as you sit down, one of the staff would come over and light the candle.
And thats the first post of my little trip to Lech! Watch out for the next one to see what we got up to after breakfast!
*I was a guest of The Hotel Gotthard but all views are 100% my own.
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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Date Night In London & Haagen-Dazs New Sticks

Andrew and I go out for dinner more than anyone else we know, last week we ended up eating out four times, you know pizza express, nandos, the usual. But every now and then date night comes around and we fancy somewhere a little bit nicer. We may have been together for almost 7 years now but we still love date night!
Our last one was a few months ago now; Andrew took me for dinner at the Savoy Grill and afterwards we went for a little wander and ended up drinking cocktails at the ME hotel before jumping in an uber home - date night always means a cab all the way home back to Essex. But as I said, that was a few months ago so we were in need of our next, which came around again on Saturday.

We decided to go back to one of our favourites - Gaucho. We've actually been to quite a few of the branches in London but the Piccadilly circus one is definitely our favourite - it has the best atmosphere and I also really love the building that it's in! We visit here at least two or three times a year and we even booked it for NYE a couple of years ago as well.
It was a lovely warm evening in London so I decided to wear my new dress from River Island. I get a bit funny about wearing tight dresses when its hot, especially if I have to get the tube in so this was perfect because it is so floaty. I thought it print was so pretty and the waist tie was perfect for a big meal haha.
Gaucho have seemed to update their menu since the last time we went so we ended up spending a lot more than usual because Andrew wanted to try some of the new things as well. Usually, I can just about handle my steak but we went for starters this time as well - I had the tuna ceviche hoping that it wouldnt be too heavy and he went for the short ribs - mine was on a bed of smashed avo so I was happy. Then, of course I went for my usual fillet medallions whilst Andrew ordered the biggest steak on the menu - all delicious as always.

The only thing that I don't like about Gaucho is their choice of desserts. I think I've only ordered dessert at that branch once and that was when there was a sticky toffee pudding on the menu but I was far too full for that now anyway so we decided to skip dessert and go for an evening walk around London instead.

Knowing me, I'm sure you can guess what happened next! We got as far as Tottenham court road when dessert became a priority again. Luckily, I work around there and knew exactly what I wanted! I had spotted an ice cream in the co-op with Juanita earlier that week and stopped myself because I just couldn't justify it on a Wednesday afternoon whilst it was raining but this was the perfect excuse!

I love a tub of Haagen Dazs at home and they have just brought out these stick bars so I was really excited to try them. It was just the treat I needed for a late dessert.
Haagen Dazs ice cream is always so indulgent and creamy and they bars were the same. I went for the salted caramel one and the ice cream inside was packed full with chunks of sauce and fudge, coated with a layer on milk chocolate.

We ate them as we walked further through London..
And when they were finished we called an uber to take us home!

*In collaboration with brand
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Monday, 15 August 2016

Oasis Drinks Giveaway

When I got the first email from Oasis Drinks about the idea behind this post, I thought they were bonkers! But we like a little bit of bonkers every now and then so lets just roll with it. 

Oasis wanted to help UK festival goers out with some of their biggest bugbears! Obviously if your going to a festival here, then your going to expect rain so they have created a rain mac to help keep you dry, nothing weird there, right? Wrong. 

You may be wondering what is that odd thing on Andrews head? Well, not being content with only fixing one problem and deciding to poke some fun at modern day life, Oasis fitted this blue mighty  mac with a funnel, so not only will this nifty coat keep you dry, it'll collect rain ready for you to drink when you get thirsty. All you have to do is enjoy yourself in the rain and when your ready for a drink, just turn the sleeve tap on! 

Dont forget a quick squeeze of Oasis Mighty Drops (handily stored in the pocket) to add some flavour to your drink! This raspberry and lemonade is delicious! 

Never again will you miss out on your favourite act because your standing in a queue at the bar. 

Want to win your very own Mighty Mac and some mighty drops for yourself?
*In collaboration with brand #AD

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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Mallorca Outfit Diary

A few weeks before we left, I realised that I have actually been wearing the same holiday clothes for the past few years, I just got really comfortable with my favourite pieces, the go to outfits and comfortable clothes but I decided that this year, I was going to go on a big shop and get myself some new bits and I  really enjoyed doing so! It was exciting to pull off a label and put on a brand new piece of clothing every day!

So I wanted to put together an outfit diary of a few of my favourite picks to share with you guys! Honestly though, I did spend alot of my holiday in a bikini and a bikini alone, sorry (not sorry)
 At first, I wasnt sure about this bikini! I loved the top when I saw it online but with the matching bottoms, not so much so I bought plain black ones to go with it. I also just wasn't convinced that the top fit me properly and then when I showed Andrew, he said put it in the maybe pile but I'm very pleased that I just decided to take all my new bikinis in the end becuase I fell in love with this one once I got to the beach. I pulled out the thick plastic label meaning the top fitted perfectly and I thought the paining looked great in the end! 

Top - River Island, Bottoms - ASOS, Havianas - Debenhams, Ray bans - Sunglasses Shop
This was a little later on in the holiday and I was just a little bit burnt so I wanted something light to wear while we were out and about. I picked up this white kaftan from GAP at my local shopping center, The Brewery, Romford, a few weeks ago and it was literally perfect for stuffing in my bag and throwing on when I fancied! I loved that the string pulled it in at the waist. After wearing flip flops for most of the week, Birkenstocks were a welcome comfort! 

Katfan - Gap at The Brewery, Birkenstocks - Jake Shoes, Mint Bikini - River Island 
Ok guys, I'm not gonna lie, this was our first day and I was on my period so I wanted something supportive for the top and something that covered my stomach for the bottom and this is what I came up with. I picked up the top at Lakeside on a major shopping trip a few weeks back and I think I would actually wear it as a bra back home with a low top over it so you can see the strappy detailing, it was super supporting and it looked great! The shorts are from last year and they have the prettiest tropical flowers printed on them. They are also super lightweight. 

Top - New Look, Shorts - Debenhams
 Oh look -another actual outfit and finally a little bit of colour! Ok so the shorts are old but I love my black shorts, they just go with everything and are the perfect length for me. The top however is new and has a pretty criss cross detail at the back plus I love the colour. Luckily, the pink was exactly the same as one of the pom poms on my new shoes so it was a great pairing I thought. Andrew bought these crazy sandals for me a couple of nights before we went, they are so fun and surprisingly they fit very well and are also comfortable!

Top - New Look, Shorts - Primark, Sandals - Linzi
You'll never guess where this one came from! Primark and it was only £13 - so cheap in fact that I also bought it in black as well but I didnt get a chance to wear it this time. Last year was the first time in a very long time that I went for a swimsuit, maybe you remember? It was very low cut and very daring for me but I did love it so this year, I wanted to push something else that I wasnt too used to - side boob but of course, I didnt want to over do it which is why I loved this so much, it showed just enough! 

 Swimsuit - Primark
And of course, this outfit, that I wore on our last evening taken on snapchat which is why its not great quality! The combination of the pretty print, deep colour and its shape caught my eye in Forever 21 last year. Its fitted at the top but acutally had a stretchy pannel at the back so it was perfect for my three course meal haha.
Which Outfit Is Your Favourite?
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